Scientific studies of what colours people typically like and dislike began in the late 19th century.
Colour can be defined in many ways and the definition varies depending on who you ask.
There have been decades of highly focused scientific studies that have aimed to identify how the eye, brain and human mind enable humans to experience colour.
Colour depends greatly on context. Our perception of, and response to colour, therefore, relates to several contextual factors.
Whereas early studies of colour preference have mostly been concerned with documenting what colours people like and dislike, over the last ten years science has been concerned with why people like some colours more than others.
There have been hundreds of studies aimed at identifying what human beings associate with different colours. Many studies have investigated the link between colour and emotion. Although not all of these studies agree, some consistent results can be extracted from the literature.
People’s favourite colour is most commonly named green or blue.
In order to provide greater insight into the world’s favourite colour and in people’s colour preference choices, we plotted all 26,596 responses in a perceptual colour space.
In addition to being asked to pick their favourite colour, G . F Smith’s survey also asked people to provide the reason for their choice. These qualitative responses were analysed systematically in order to identify words that are associated with particular colours. Words that were frequently mentioned in people’s explanations were extracted.